The Green Wave Breaks the Information Blockade
By Al Giordano
After Iran's longest weekend, when authorities of the regime tried to stop the flow of information out of, into, and within Iran - they blocked YouTube, Facebook and independent media websites, shut down cell phone service, shut down land line telephones, caused hours-long denial of any Internet service at all, ordered the closing of Al-Aribya TV's Tehran offices, arrested a BBC reporter, seized cameras, computers and drive sticks from citizens, sent police door to door to private homes and university dorms search for and seize SAT satellite transmitters and other communications equipment... - the sheer volume of people struggling to spread the word has overwhelmed the would-be censors under a green wave.
Todays massive demonstrations in Tehran and other cities in response to the regime's claim that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad won the Friday vote for president has been reported to join as many as three million Iranians in the capital city alone. As the Sky News video above makes clear: every one of those peaceful demonstrators is committing civil disobedience in defiance of a government ban on public protests. The marches have been reported by Iranian state television and by the major worldwide news networks from BBC to CNN.
Tomorrow, a general strike.
This dramatic turn of events pretty much guarantees that the struggle will go on and escalate, probably for weeks to come. It's a wonderful scene to behold from wherever you sit or stand on this earth. The seismic events in Iran are front page news throughout most of the world: I can personally testify to the headlines in Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo and Mexico City over the past 24 hours.
Iran's Green Revolution is reminiscent of the Orange Revolution that took place in Ukraine in late 2004, when an October 31 electoral fraud sparked mounting protests and a peaceful occupation of many blocks surrounding the national palace, causing the national elections council to, five weeks later, call for a do-over of the vote. The opposition won that second vote on December 26 of that year.
From this observation post, the most important battle has already been won in Iran: the struggle to keep communications open and relatively free. Everything else stems from that. And, if successfully maintained, it makes the eventual toppling of the current regime something close to inevitable.
While there are differences, of course, between the 2004 events in Ukraine and the 2009 tumult in Iran, I think a similar timeline of five to ten weeks is a reasonably likely calendar for how these current events are going to play out. Look, listen, learn, pay attention, study what the people do and how they struggle. History knocks again.